The 72+ degree temperatures in New Castle County part of Sunday afternoon (before the storms hit!) did the trick:
I saw my first butterflies of the new year, strangely not in some state park or wildlife area, but just driving along the edge of the Valero refinery northwest of Delaware City, and in Red Lion, just north of Lums Pond State Park.
Nothing spectacular. Just the ubiquitous Cabbage White butterflies, actually "exotics" from Europe which somehow ended up as stowaways on some trans-Atlantic ship in the 19th century! Very common and ordinary, but much awaited as a sign of spring. (Cabbage Whites overwinter as pupae.)
Some other lepidopterists in New Jersey and New York state report having seen some species which "overwinter" as adults: The always dazzing Mourning Cloaks.
Posted at 2:56pm on March 31, 2009 by Allan Loudell
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